Cancer and Your Workplace

Working During Cancer Treatment

Many people want to continue working while getting treated. But whether a person can or not may depend on the:

  • Type of treatments
  • Cancer’s stage
  • Individual’s overall health
  • Kind of work he or she does

One person may feel too sick or too tired to work. Another might be told to take it easy by their doctor.

Each person is different. Some are able to keep working a full-time schedule. Some people may need small accommodations. And some might need extra days off or the opportunity to work part-time for a while.

For more information about working during cancer treatment, visit cancer.org, the website of the American Cancer Society. (It contains helpful tips, as well as information about accommodations, legal protections, protecting your rights, and a list of resources.)

Cancer and Workplace Discrimination

Many people are fortunate enough to have understanding colleagues and managers. But, sometimes, prejudices and fears are found in the workplace too – even after cancer treatment has ended. These ideas can lead to discrimination that takes both subtle and not so subtle forms.

For more information about workplace discrimination, legal protections, and tips for handling discrimination, visit cancer.net, the website of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Going Back to Work After Cancer

After treatment, some people are eager to get back to work. Not just for the income, but also for the sense of routine and for the good feelings they may get out of working. It’s a good idea, however, to talk to both your healthcare team and your boss before going back to work. You, your doctors, and your boss will all want to know that you’re well enough to work.

For information about going back to work, your rights, and how to relate to others, visit cancer.gov, the website of the National Cancer Institute. You may also want to check out the Communication Matters section of this site.

Read more at cancer.gov This link is to a third-party website.

Finding a Job After Cancer

Looking for a new job under any circumstances can be stressful, but for some cancer survivors reentering the job market has extra challenges. What and how much information do you share? How to explain any gaps in work history? What are reasonable accommodations?

For a discussion of these issues, as well as dealing with emotional concerns while job hunting, visit cancer.net, the website of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO).

Stopping Work After Cancer Treatment

After cancer treatment, some people may be unable to return to work. And some people may choose not to return to work. But stopping work, for whatever reasons, may have major impact on a person’s life for financial, emotional, or self-worth reasons.

For a discussion of these issues, and ideas for financial support if you stop working, visit cancer.net, the website of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO).

Caregiving and the Workplace

Caring for a seriously ill loved one can be a full-time job. But if the caregiver already has a full-time paying job, work-related issues like missed days, decreased productivity, and interruptions can occur. The stress of caring for someone on top of worrying about keeping a paying job, and tracking costs and insurance payments, can be overwhelming.

For tips on coping with these and other issues, visit cancer.org, the website of the American Cancer Society. (Use the drop-down Topics menu to access related topics for caregivers.)